RBNZ will talk before using new tools

Reported by AAP
Friday, May 17, 2013

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The Reserve Bank of New Zealand will clearly explain concerns it has about risks to financial stability before using any of its new tools to cool asset bubbles, in the hope that may prevent their use.

The central bank has released its final policy position following public consultation on its new macro-prudential policy.

The measures include requiring lenders to hold more capital on their balance sheets against certain assets, and restricting the level of low-equity home loans.

"Prior to macro-prudential policy adjustments, it is expected that the Reserve Bank will clearly communicate its concerns around the emerging risks to financial stability," the bank said.

"Explaining and discussing these risks to banks and the public will be important, as in some cases this may help to change behaviour without recourse to additional prudential measures."

The consultation has not resulted in major changes to the framework, deputy governor Grant Spencer said in a statement on Friday.

The central bank will consult with banks in coming weeks on adding details of the policy into its Banking Supervision Handbook, which would allow the measures to be used in the future.

The Reserve Bank's four new tools are adjustments to banks' core funding ratio, required capital buffers during excessive credit growth, capital requirements for specific assets, and restrictions on high loan-to-value (LVR) ratio mortgage loans.

LVRs are the RBNZ's first line of attack in the event it is concerned by house price bubbles.

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